On 25th September 2019, NTPC, India’s largest power generation company has signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) with Himachal Pradesh government for setting up two hydroelectric power projects with a total capacity of 520 MW.
The MoU’s for Seli (400 MW) and Miyar (120 MW) Hydro-Electric Power Projects were signed by Himachal Pradesh Principal Secretary (Energy) Prabodh Saxena and NTPC Director (Commercial) A.K. Gupta in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Seli and Miyar Hydro Power Projects
Seli Hydro-Electric Power Project: It is 400 MW run of river* project with pondage scheme (small water storage). It is located on Chenab River in district Lahaul-Spiti with total investment estimated at Rs. 2,891.97 Crores. The project shall have 4 units of 100 MW each. With the establishment of the project, 93 families of the area shall be affected.
Miyar Hydro-Electric Power Project: The project is located on Miyar tributary of Chenab River. It will be 120 MW run of river project without pondage scheme.
NTPC In Himachal Pradesh
Commissioned in July 2015, 800 MW Koldam Hydro Power Project was the first hydro project of NTPC. Koldam supplies nearly 28% of its generated power generated to Himachal Pradesh. These 2 MOU’s for Seli and Miyar shall greatly enhance NTPC’s presence in Himachal.
Project Platter of NTPC
At present the total installed capacity of NTPC is 58,156 MW which includes 24 coal based stations (43,950 MW), 7 combined cycle gas / liquid fuel based stations (4,017 MW), 2 hydro based stations (808 MW), 1 wind based Station (50 MW), 10 Joint Venture stations (8,461 MW) and 11 renewable energy projects (870 MW).
Changing Outlook of Hydro Power in India
As reported by the Press Information Bureau, Government of India dated 7th March 2019, India is endowed with a large hydro power potential of 145,320 MW of which only 45,400 MW has been utilized. In the last ten years only 10,000 MW has been added.
To promote hydro power, Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 7th March 2019 had declared “Large Hydropower Projects as Renewable Energy source (as per existing practice, only hydro power projects less than 25 MW are categorized as Renewable Energy).”
* Operating on the flow of the river without modification by upstream storage.